Warning: Graphic content.
An Auckland man has been jailed for life after fatally stabbing and stomping on another man's head.
Christopher Kane Te Kawa Simeon, 27, was sentenced today for murdering Faletoi Matue on the night of May 3 last year. He had pleaded guilty earlier this year.
The pair had been drinking together at an apartment in central Auckland earlier in the night. However, as they returned to a woman's home in Torbay on the North Shore a fracas broke out in the car.
The fighting continued when the group reached the home before cooling off. But Simeon went to the kitchen and grabbed two knives - each with a 10cm-long blade.
He then returned to the lounge.
Thrusting at Matue with the knives, he stabbed him four times.
Then, while his victim was helplessly bleeding on the floor, Simeon continued the vicious attack and stomped on Matue's head with steel-capped boots.
The High Court at Auckland heard he then "paced around the house", yelling, crying and asking for his mother.
Justice Gerard van Bohemen sentenced Simeon to life imprisonment with a minimum period of 10 years and nine months.
"For the rest of your life you will be liable for recall to prison if you reoffend or breach parole," the judge said.
Several of Matue's family and friends were in court today, while some watched via video link from Australia.
In an emotional statement to the court on behalf of Matue's sister Fesilafai Matue, Scott Talua said his 41-year-old cousin had been "stripped from this world in cold blood".
May 4 last year, Fesilafai Matue remembered, had started as just another busy day on the job.
But, as Talua read, she could never have braced herself for the phone call she would take about the man nicknamed Toi.
"Something moved me to answer the phone, nothing could have prepared me for that phone call."
It was her sister's number, but she was caught off guard when a cousin greeted her instead. In the background she could hear her sister crying.
"The crying still haunts me to this day, a cry of agony and sorrow," Fesilafai Matue's statement read.
Her heart was pounding and hands shaking as she clung to the phone.
"Toi, he's gone," were the words which shattered her world.
"I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Fesilafai Matue's statement read. "It felt like days that I was stuck in a nightmare ... The sounds of people talking around became white noise."
Struggling to comprehend that Toi was gone, the sisters now had to tell his father.
"Our father, a 74-year-old man who had already buried my mother, how do I tell him?
"I could actually feel my father's heart shatter into a million pieces."
Turning to Simeon sitting in the court's dock, Talua, with his voice raised and hands trembling, wanted the killer to picture his loved ones in a similar position to Matue.
"Let's visit that fateful night in North Shore," he said, reading the statement. "Picture their face, now I want you to re-enact ... Your actions, your acts of violence, your treachery."
He asked Simeon to picture the stabbing, the punching, the blood, and the image of someone's head being stomped on.
"How do you feel? Or do you feel nothing?"
But the Matue family hoped Simeon felt some remorse.
"We truly do not wish you any harm, we only wish that you are brought to justice ... We will never be the same, we will never be able to fill the void that you have created.
"We can all agree that Toi would have wanted us to forgive you. I would be lying if forgiveness wasn't a hard pill to swallow.
"I have no doubt that a dark cloud has been cast over your family and loved ones also."
Justice van Bohemen said the statements from Matue's family were "hard, very hard to listen too" but also incredibly brave.
"Remarkable too for the forgiveness that they offer."
Crown prosecutor Mark Harborow said the fatal wound to Matue was 11.5cm deep.
Simeon's stomping to Matue's head displayed a high-level of cruelty, callousness and complete disregard for human life, Harborow continued.
"This man was down, wounded."
After killing Matue, Simeon was found a short time later on a nearby street by police.
He uttered: "I stabbed that c***."
That language, Harborow said, combined with violent attack was cold, cruel and callous.
Simeon's lawyer, Julie-Anne Kincade QC, said her client's offending was "an impulsive action, an opportunistic event, without the elements that are present in the Browne case and others."
Matue's family earlier told the Herald of their shock after learning he had been stabbed and assaulted at a Torbay property.
They also revealed Matue had been deported from Australia and spent time at a detention camp on Christmas Island.
Speaking from Australia, two of his sisters, Sila and Peati Matue, said their brother was deported to New Zealand in 2016 after serving time in an Australian jail for wilful damage.
He had battled with mental health problems, been diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoia and spent time in a mental health centre prior to being imprisoned in 2015, they said.